Golf: Rory Mcllroy wins third Dubai Desert Classic crown, as Kiwi Ryan Fox struggles in final round

Kiwi Ryan Fox has shot a one-over 73 to finish in a tie for 20th at the Dubai Desert Classic, while world No.1 Rory McIlroy won his third title at the event.

After his stunning six-under 66 third round with an eagle and five birdies, Fox lay just five strokes off the lead, but couldn't maintain his form, dropping to 20th, after a disastrous final round.

"Not the round I was hoping for today, but after waking up with a stomach bug this morning, honestly I was happy just to finish," Fox posted on social media. "Easily one of the toughest days I’ve had on course.

Fox in Action.
Fox in Action. Photo credit: Getty Images

"@dubaidcgolf never disappoints as an event and look forward to coming back next year."

Meanwhile, Mcllroy shot a final round of 68 to finish at 19-under overall, beating Patrick Reed by one stroke.

Reed finished with a commendable final-round score of 65, which included an eagle on the par-five 10th hole, but bogeyed the 16th to post 18-under overall.

In response, McIlroy kept his cool and birdied the last two holes - including a wedge to 15 feet and a downhill putt on the 18th - to celebrate his first DP World Tour title since November 2019.

"It was a battle all day," he said. "Honestly, it has been a battle all week.

"I really feel like I haven't had my best all week, but I managed my game and played really smart.

"I managed my game well, lots of room for improvements. Mentally, today, it was probably one of the toughest rounds I've ever had to play, because it would have been really easy to let your emotions get in the way.

"I'm going to enjoy this. This is probably sweeter than it should be or needs to be... a really good foundation for the year."

Australian Lucas Herbert, who had set the clubhouse target at 16-under earlier in the day, finished third.